We awoke at 6:00 AM (which in our language equals the middle of the night), showered, and crept out while the household still slept. With two Concert Grande harps in tow, Gary and I set out for the coast. The 2-1/2-hour drive and the successful drop-off of the harps for regulation (read: EXPENSIVE tune up required every two years) left us free to enjoy a few hours of open road and unexplored territory along Highway 1. We have made it a personal quest to explore every mile along the coastal route of our home state. I think this trip may have been the culmination of that years-in-the-making goal. I shall have to consult a map more intently before I know for certain.
We wended our way through hills and valleys of farmland and dairyland, before we reached the teeny town of Dillon Beach, pop 319. With little to offer but a glimpse of the sea, the town invited a pause to peer and we did with delight. I deeply inhaled that magical fragrance of the sea. I have purchased countless bath salts, lotions, and gelees promising the aroma of the ocean, but not a one has come close to emulating that true salty tang of freshness that rolls off the mighty Pacific. In my eagerness to see the sea I completely forgot my camera. As we pulled away from the beach in pursuit of more delights down the coast I gave nary a thought to snapping a pic or two. Once we retraced our path back to the highway I remembered and snapped away. These rocks brought to mind Norwegian tales of Mountains by day and Trolls by night. Surely these boulders would transform to some pretty Trollish ones. (For size reference, enlarge the photo and notice the barbed-wire fence on the left hand side. These boulders are HUGE!) This lone llama stole my heart as the favorite pic of the bunch snapped throughout the trip. What must that guy be thinking? Clearly he stands apart from the herd with something different coursing through his vein and brain. We followed the winding roadway past lush foliage, fishing ports, and the occasional dwelling. We passed a delightful little seafood restaurant announcing local oysters and mussels, but Gary failed to find adequate parking and pushed southward. [Later he admitted the thought of eating oysters or mussels ranks right up there with eating snails, something to try once – a requirement he has already fulfilled. *sigh*]
The rolls and bends in the road revealed pretty views of the inlet around each new curve. Fishing boats of modest cost and hardy constitution carried home the catch of the day. Houses hung out over the water on pilings of a most precarious stance. No gardens for these dwellers, though the odd bit of seaweed and sludge did linger to bloom on the rocky shores. [Note: I took pics of these cottages but when I returned home I found no pics in the camera. Could these have been enchanted dwellings of a water kelpie or other magical sprite? One does wonder ...)
The temperate day offered up the opportunity to ride with the windows down and the breeze lacing my hair with the aroma of the end of the continent. We felt truly transported to a faerie land as we seldom passed a car or bike on the roadway. Eventually my stomach began to speak up … loudly. With no dining prospects in sight, we just followed the winding way and hoped. The GPS gave us little indication of what commerce lay ahead (mainly due to our ignorance in operating the frill that came with the car). All at once we rounded a bend and found that we had entered the main street of Point Reyes Station, a former railway station (hence the name), in the middle of cattle/dairy land.
We parked on the edge of town and walked the main street, pretty much the only street, and found this delightful eaterie. The floriferous gardens offered shady nooks for dining on delicious entrees. We began with home-made soups (clam chowder for Gary and veggie lentil for me) and then onto a hand-made veggie burger with cole slaw for Gary and a creamy polenta surrounded by a fan of grilled portabella mushrooms and the most scrumptious local farmstead bleu cheese (SOOOOO yummy!). We finished off that while sipping on iced tea, finding ourselves with little room for dessert; so we split something sweet. The menu cried out: “Old-Fashioned CHOCOLATE CAKE triple layers with chocolate ganache, chocolate buttercream frosting & shaved chocolate.” We couldn’t resist … and it was worth every devilish calorie.
With little time left before retrieving the harps, we chose another backroad and found lots of happy California cows and local beauty. We savored the memory of such delightful sights as we navigated commuter traffic homeward through Sacramento. We passed through the valley of cars and climbed the Sierras for home, holding onto the memory of coastal beauty until returning home to our mountain beauty. Such a very fine way to spend a day. ; )